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12/6 Big Ten Preview: Wisconsin heads to Philadelphia

Fresh off their win over Penn State, the Badgers head to the City of Brotherly Love to take on Temple.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Game of the Day

Wisconsin Badgers at Temple Owls

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM - ESPNU
  • KenPom Spread: Temple (-4)

After holding on for dear life against Penn State Monday evening, the Badgers look to make take over the Keystone State Wednesday when they square off with the Temple Owls in Philadelphia.

In its game against the Nittany Lions, Wisconsin held a 17-point lead with just 9:47 to play, yet managed to only eke out a win thanks to an ill-advised Tony Carr 3-point attempt at the buzzer and the possession arrow falling in its favor. There weren't too many bright spots for either team, as Badgers star forward Ethan Happ was limited to just nine points on a 3-for-12 night from the field.

Thankfully for Wisconsin, junior guard Khalil Iverson provided enough of an offensive spark, finishing the game with 16 points and Wisconsin did Wisconsin things, holding the Lions to just 35.7 percent shooting from the field, including an abysmal 2-for-14 from beyond the arc.

The win pulled the Badgers record to 4-5 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten following its embarrassing show at home against Ohio State last weekend.

Temple, on the other hand, is fresh off a 71-67 loss at George Washington Sunday. The Owls are a bit of an enigma so far, having also dropped a game to crosstown rival LaSalle, but boasting wins over Old Dominion, Auburn, Clemson, and South Carolina.

Coach Fran Dunphy’s team is led by a three-headed monster of sophomore guard Quentin Rose, junior guard Shizz Alston Jr., and senior forward Obi Enechionyia. All three players average double figure point totals and over 30 minutes of court time per game. Enechionyia is also a defensive stopper, averaging 1.8 blocks per contest.

On paper this one looks to be a dead heat, as Wisconsin and Temple enter Wednesday’s game ranked 45 and 46, respectively, by KenPom. Not surprisingly, Wisconsin is better defensively, while Temple has a significantly higher offensive efficiency.

With both teams being all over the place, this one is a little challenging to size up. Temple reminds me of a poor man’s Penn State which you’d think would be good news for Wisconsin.

That said, the Badgers have shown little to no consistency this year and have been away from home for a few days now.

Temple wins this one in the name of Pennsylvania pride.

Pick Against The Spread: Temple

The Rest

Austin Peay Governors at Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Time/TV: 8:00PM - BTN
  • KenPom Spread: Illinois (-16)

The Illini are hoping that Austin Peay is the cure for what ails ‘em, after dropping three in a row following a 6-0 start to the year.

Despite starting the Big Ten season winless, it wasn’t for a lack of trying on Illinois’ part, losing to Northwestern and Maryland by a combined five points in which both games went to overtime.

In Monday’s game against the Terps, junior forward Leron Black had a solid outing, leading the Illini with 18 points.

The Governors of Austin Peay enter this game with a 4-4 record having defeated Alabama A&M in its most recent game. Junior forward Chris Porter-Bunton had 14 points and seven rounds against the Bulldogs while senior forward Averyl Ugba chipped in with 15 points of his own.

With a KenPom ranking of 286 the visitors from the Ohio Valley Conference shouldn’t be much of a challenge for the Illini.

Pick Against The Spread: Illinois

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 9-7